I’m sure there are many different ways to make soft-boiled eggs, but this is the way I do it. Wait until the water is boiling, then drop the egg(s) into the boiling water. I let the water continue to boil at a little more than a simmer, and I keep a lid on the kettle. You don’t need to do it the way I do it, and your eggs will probably get done just fine.
First, let’s recognize the benefits of a soft-boiled egg versus fried or scrambled eggs. There are less ingredients, which decreases the calories. Clean up is faster, and there is less mess and fuss. In addition, a soft-boiled eggs decreases the temptation (for me) of wanting to add a slice of toast. There’s something about a fried egg that begs for toast for dipping into that yolk!
Years ago when I traveled in Europe, restaurants served up soft-boiled eggs as a regular dish. Their pretty containers allowed the egg to sit upright with only the top of the shell removed. Customers spooned the egg out of the shell and enjoyed the warmth and softness of the egg. I still like to eat it this way.
Making a soft boiled egg
The length of time you boil your egg depends on how large the egg is – and also in part to how many you are doing. A general rule of thumb is 6 minutes. You’ll figure it out if you pay close attention to your timing and to getting the egg into cold water right away. To remove it from the burner and allow it to remain in the water will cause the egg to continue cooking.
To soft-boil, bring water to boil in a kettle, then drop in your eggs. Turn the burner down until the water is at a continual boil – but not bubbling out of the kettle. Let the eggs simmer for 6 minutes, give or take a few if your pan is full of jumbo eggs.
Setting the timer for 6 minutes gives me another half minute or longer to get to the egg and cool it off before it cooks too long. Under-cooking will make the egg runny, with the white still raw and gooey. Yuck.
I’ve served soft boiled eggs on avocado, which is a delightful and nutritious breakfast. It hardly gets better than this! Sadly, I developed an allergy to avocados, so while I highly recommend this dish, I can’t enjoy it myself.
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Making your soft boiled egg can be done while you’re emptying the dishwasher, making your coffee, or tidying the kitchen. Watching your timer is important because going beyond the time will produce a hard boiled instead of a soft boiled egg. Of course, you can boil a mess of hard boiled eggs and just remove a few sooner in order to get your soft boiled egg.